Economic Hardship

Employment Due to Economic Hardship
  1. In order to be eligible, the student must:
    • Be in valid F1 status for at least one academic year (two semesters)
    • Be in good academic standing and registered for a full course load
    • Provide evidence of economic hardship based on unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control
    • Demonstrate that on-campus employment is either unavailable or insufficient to meet needs
  1. The regulations offer examples of unforeseen circumstances which may cause economic hardship, including significant fluctuations in the value of currency or exchange rates, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial condition of a student’s sponsor, medical bills, or other substantial and unexpected expenses.
    Employment is limited to no more than 20 hours per week when school is in session, full time during holidays or vacation periods. Employment authorization is automatically terminated when a student fails to maintain status. Students may work for an employer at any job, anywhere in the United States. A job offer is NOT required in advance of obtaining an employment authorization (EAD) card from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. The items listed below must be submitted to the International Students & Scholars Office to process an application for off-campus employment based on economic hardship. Make photocopies of all documents to keep for your records. The International Students & Scholars Office cannot photocopy or mail documents for the student. Mailing instructions are at the bottom of the attached letter.

DATE: 04/06/11
FROM: Queens College International Students & Scholars Office

Enclose the following items:

  1. SEVIS I-20 (copy)
  2. I-94 (copy)
  3. I-94s for family member(s)
  4. Evidence of financial resources
  5. I-765
  6. Copy of visa stamp
  7. Two photographs for EAD card (photos should be passport style – 2” x 2”)
  8. Copy of passport’s validity
  9. Applicant’s explanation letter
  10. Check/money order for $410

Instructions for the applicant:

  1. Sign line 11 of the SEVIS I-20.
  2. Detach cover letter.
  3. Send envelope “certified mail, return receipt requested.”
  4. Mail the application by regular or Certified Mail Return Receipt to:

    PO Box 660867
    Dallas, TX 7526

  5. If you want to mail documents by Express Mail or Courier Services, mail to

    Attn: AOS
    2501 S State Hwy 121
    Business Suite 400
    Lewisville, TX 75067

  6. Allow at least 6 weeks for a response.
  7. DO NOT mail passport with this application.
  • DO NOT visit USCIS in person.
  • PHOTOCOPY entire application before mailing.
  • SEND envelope certified mail, return receipt requested.
  • BE PREPARED to wait. Processing time is indicated above.
  • NOTIFY ISSO as soon as you receive a response.
  • NOTIFY ISSO if you do not receive a response in 6 weeks.
  • WRITE your check or money order to USCIS.